Letter: Keep existing bridge spans
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
David Rowe’s April 9 letter about the Columbia River Crossing was on the mark. He refers to the Common Sense Alternative website (http://vimeo.com/22915646), which is getting too little play. In addition to the CSA proposals, all sensible and worth considering, here’s my own:
Existing bridge spans should not be abandoned. If they are so fragile, put another bridge somewhere else to make them less so. Turn them into an arterial, for access to Hayden Island, maybe light rail into Vancouver (a distraction to solving the original congestion and aging bridge problems). Why tear down serviceable bridges?
A tunnel would be a neat way around the water and air navigation conflicts. A tunnel was suggested early on, but not given full consideration.
The “height” of folly is to build a downstream bridge on a navigable waterway with a lower clearance than one upstream. Solutions should avoid navigational conflicts. Ports of Vancouver and Portland are currently poorly served by truck routes. The new bridge and approaching highways should be closer to ports and away from metro areas.
The focus of CRC has been the bridge, yet much of the money is allocated to freeway improvements. The CRC should be true to its name as a “river crossing.” Their narrow scope led them astray.